Changes to Significant Investor Visa Program

As of July 1 2015, certain changes to the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) stream of the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) that were announced in October 2014 have come into effect.

It is useful firstly to outline what has stayed the same and hasn’t changed in relation to the SIV stream. Applicants for the SIV must still submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect, must be nominated by an Australian state or territory, and proceed to invest $5 million into complying investments, which must be maintained throughout a 4-year period.

Under the July 1 changes Austrade, as the Australian Trade Commission, is now able to nominate applicants alongside the Australian states and territories. Perhaps the most significant changes to the SIV stream relate to what constitutes a ‘complying investment’.

As part of the $5 million investment:

  • At least $500,000 of this must be in eligible Australian venture capital funds to invest in start-up and small private companies;
  • At least $1.5 million must be in eligible funds or Listed Investment Companies that invest in emerging companies; and
  • The remaining investment of up to $3 million into managed funds that invest in eligible assets including Australian listed securities, eligible corporate bonds or notes, annuities and real property (subject to a 10% cap on residential property investment).

It is also worthwhile to note that the new stream of the subclass 188, the Premium Investor Visa stream, can now be applied for. This stream requires a minimum complying investment of at least $15 million, in addition to the business and entrepreneurial requirements of the visa subclass.

If you have any questions in relation to the changes to the Significant Investor Visa Program or your visa application, please don’t hesitate to contact our migration team today. Our team of Registered Migration Agents have assisted many clients through the Significant Investor Visa streams.

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